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Butler Bulldogs Defeat Franklin in Final Exhibition Game

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs finished up their exhibition schedule with a 98-43 victory over the Franklin Grizzlies at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 9. Senior forward Kameron Woods and freshman forward Kelan Martin led the Bulldogs with 18 points each and three other teammates posted double figures including freshman forward Tyler Wideman, who scored 17 points after missing last week’s exhibition game against Chicago due to a concussion.

Junior guard Kellen Dunham scored 14 points, shooting 2-for-3 from three, and senior guard Jackson Aldridge scored 11 points off the bench for the Bulldogs. Senior guard Alex Barlow tallied team-highs in assists and steals with six and five, respectively. Martin hit three from deep, 3-for-6, in the game for the Bulldogs off the bench. Freshman forward Jackson Davis led Butler in block with three off the bench.

“There were some good glances from our young guys,” said head coach Chris Holtmann. “Obviously, Tyler (Wideman) played for the first time but I think that’s best evaluated once we get into Division I competition. Tyler got a work out in this morning before shootaround. He may not like this but that might be something we continue to do because I like his energy. Martin can be an important presence this season for the Bulldogs.”

“Kelan offensively can help us for sure, there’s no question about that. He shot the ball really, really well in practices,” Holtmann said. “He’s aggressive, he can drive it, and as with any freshman, his defense needs to get better. The details defensively need to get better, but the great thing about Kelan is he’s a coachable kid. He wants to be better, he’s hungry to be better and I think that’s going to serve him well.”

Holtmann said he will get a better look at his young players’ performances once the team begins its regular season schedule.

“We need to develop a bench, and whether that’s eight, nine, or 10, we need to develop a bench and they need to play with confidence and aggressiveness, play through some mistakes. Both our younger and older guys, we had some older guys coming off the bench. And part of that is we have to continue to define their roles.”

Woods, who shot 8-for-9 from the field, said the team knows the benefit of playing exhibition games early in the season.

“Being older guys, Barlow and I, we know the value of these types of games, so I think what we look for is carry over,” Woods said. “I think it’s easy in practice to do all the things we preach because if it doesn’t go right, we’re going to stop the drill or stop the flow of the game, but you want to see carry over into these types of games, where maybe the score isn’t as close, because it’s going to translate as the competition gets better.”

Butler’s defense put pressure on Franklin throughout the game as they committed 30 turnovers, leading to 41 points for the Bulldogs.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Kelan Martin (Brent Smith)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Kelan Martin (Brent Smith)

Butler began the game on a 17-3 run and never let up, getting out to a 53-16 halftime lead. The Bulldogs shot an impressive 71.4 percent from the floor during the first half, shooting 20 of 28 from the field. Butler pushed the lead to as many as 64 points until Franklin went on a late game run to make the final score 98-43.

Butler tips off the regular season next Saturday (Nov. 15) with a 4:30 p.m. contest against Maine at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 2.

Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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